The Simpsons Movie DVD Review

The brash attitude movietoon’s debut from small screen to larger than life multiplex incarnation and back to small screen again now on DVD, mesmerizes and will delightfully outrage both fans weaned on the yellow wiseguys and as yet uninitiated viewers. A delectable antidote to family values dictum ad nauseum imposed on contemporary audiences, The Simpsons Movie slugs viewers with its devilishly rude mantra of family dysfunction twisted mystique.

With its sucker punch opening disclaimer declaring chump status for all who would pay up to watch TV antics in a movie theater in the first place, The Simpsons Movie takes off at full speed, tossing gags and heavy duty contemporary social satire at the audience like cream pies. Even the whole messy notion of child abuse directed at Bart goes down easy because there’s even more parent abuse where that came from. And otherwise excruciatingly thorny issues like comparative manhood endowment and unconventional mating urges are up for grabs too. As such, forbidden wish fulfillment, agonizing private dread and irrepressible id hold the key to unstoppable laughter. Move over, Sigmund.

The Simpsons Movie is at its weakest when stretched artificially to conform to expanded narrative movie conventions, where the short attention span episodic momentum of the pleasingly nasty shock wave cartoon just needed to be itself. As such, an overplayed bit about pet pig pollution, family exile in Alaska, and the Springfield lynch mob mentality townfolk stuck in a protective dome instigated by their corrupt leaders as they keep trying to fight their way out with reluctant grumpy superhero Homer nudged into duty, feels somewhat forced and contrived. And seemingly there just to drag the proceedings through the wringer of mandatory full length feature format on its way to the final credits.

Best digested in measured portions as gulps of uncontrollable guffaws than swallowed whole, The Simpsons Movie has cooked up a little something for everyone. There’s plenty of nostalgia in memory lane mode, razor sharp in the moment satire for the politically savvy set, and a treasure trove of chuckles for viewers of tender age just taking it all in.

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment

Rated PG-13

DVD Features: Alternate Scenes and Deleted Scenes; Audio Commentary with the Animators: David Silverman, Mike B. Anderson, Steven Dean Moore, and Rich Moore; Audio Commentary with James L. Brooks, Matt Groening, Richard Sakai, Al Jean, Mike Scully, David Silverman, Dan Castellaneta, and Yeardley Smith; Trailers and Promos.

Prairie Miller is a New York multimedia journalist online, in print and radio, who reviews movies and conducts in-depth interviews. She can also be heard on WBAI/Pacifica National Radio Network’s Arts Express.